The Picture of African Women in Nervous Condition Novel

Topics: Sociology, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Gender Pages: 7 (2659 words) Published: April 16, 2012
The Picture of African Women in Nervous Condition Novel
Nervous Condition is a novel written by Tsitsi Dangarembga. It told a story about Tambu and Nyasha life in a family which is seeing the western culture as something that is really important in their life. This a story of Tambu Struggle against the patriarchal tradition in their family. The story starts with the picture of Tambu who is unmoved by his brother death. During her moment of solitude she starts to recall the events that leading up to his brother’s death. Because of sudden deaths of his brother she was chosen then to become the next person in the family to have an education. At first she is so happy because finally she can taste education. But after a lot of events that happens in the family and leading up to the bad condition that happen to Nyasha and the rest of the family.

The novel is actually pictured the feminist tradition that has been happening in Africa for a long period of time. The author does not merely describe women's experiences and leave them there; neither does she simply describe the socialization of women into their roles. Rather she depicts some women who try to protest against their usual socially accepted roles while others engage in a debate on how they are being used or misused by the men-folk.

The two woman that is best to picture the feminist condition and situation in Africa is Tambu’s mother and Tambu itself. Both of them are representing two different mindset with their own positive and negative side. Actually the novel Nervous Condition is a novel that tells the story of the African women that are pictured by those two women characters. One of them is representing the idea of preserving the old African culture without any means of changing it, and one of them is picturing the idea of accepting western culture in order to keep up with the development of the world while trying to preserve the old African culture and cutting any unnecessary tradition that is proofed to be drawback of the culture but too ansorbed in the process and started to losing herself and identity as an African people. It is interesting to analyze the characteristics of both woman that are appeared in the novel because each of them are actually have their own positive sides and negative sides.

Another interesting reason to analyze all of the women characters in the novel is that all of the women in this novel are pictured as a strong-willed woman who stubborn for what they believe in, whether it is African tradition or their own principles. Discussion

Each women in the novel Nervous Condition by Tsitsi Dangarembga pictured a strong-willed women in protecting what they believe in. Although they are strong willed and thick headed, they have different characteristics that are interesting. The Characteristics of each woman shall be described and pictured in a form of two women who has different principles and way of thinking.

First is Tambu's mother is one of the females that are bound to the patriarchal tradition of African community. Bounded both by the laws of her culture and the social stratification of colonialism. Her gender will make her to be seen as a possession of the men in her family without any chances of being a more respected woman in her family even though it is because of her labor that her son is able to go to school and food are always available on the table. Her poverty will render her to be unable to reach an equal status with whites or the educated Africans. In addition, she is also distracted by the fear of the fatal attraction of Englishness which, in her eyes, is devouring her family one by one.

People can actually look at Tambu’s mother from two different points of view. The first is just like what have been described in the description of Tambu’s mother characteristics. People can saw her as a woman who is afraid of her husband, a woman who is just following her husband orders and do all the chores and all the house work...

References: Dangarembga Tsitsi. Nervous Condition. Ayebia Clarke Publishing, Oxfordshire. 1988
Gayle Greene and Coppelia Kahn. 'Feminist scholarship and the social construction of woman ', in Gayle Greene and Coppelia Kahn (eds.), Making a Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism. London and New York. Methuen. 1985
Stone, E. Kim. “In the Bedroom: The Formation of Single Women 's Performative Space in Tsitsi Dangarembga 's Nervous Conditions.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 41.111 (2006). 23 Oct. 2008
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